Helaman 16

As Samuel stood atop the walls speaking the words he was told to by the angels, many believed on his words.  Those who did, went and sought out Nephi, the son of Helaman and confessed their sins and desired to be baptized.  There were just as many that did not believe as those that did.

Those that were in the angry category did what they could to kill Samuel.  The cast stones at him, they shot arrows at him.  And when they tried to take his life, they were unable to do so. When the Nephites saw that they couldn’t harm Samuel, some of them realized that God was protecting him and many more went to Nephi to join the flock.

Helaman 16: 4 reads this “For behold, Nephi was baptizing, and prophesying, and preaching, crying repentance unto the people, showing signs and wonders, working miracles among the people, that they might know that the Christ must shortly come-“.   I particularly love this verse because we can see that Nephi was a man of God and that as he was baptizing, we see even more how Christ like Nephi was.  I imagine him healing the lepers, giving the blind their sight and so forth as we know that Jesus Christ did when he was in his years of ministry.

Many Nephites, however, still did not believe on the prophesying that was being given and since they already learned that the couldn’t hit him with stones or arrows, they tried to take him captive.  As they tried to do this, Samuel came down from the wall and fled back to his own land and continued preaching there.  This ends the prophesying of Samuel among the Nephite people and “thus were the affairs of the people.”  I find this statement so sad.  Many chose not to believe and therefore chased their only prophet from the land and thus the people were left as they were.    Can you relate this to the prophet Joseph Smith?

A few years go by and people become more hardened in their hearts and then the time of Christ’s birth came and all of the signs that were prophesied came true. “And angels did appear unto men, wise men, and did declare unto them glad tidings of great joy…. Nevertheless, the people began to harden their hearts, all save it were the most believing part of them, both of the Nephites and also of the Lamanites”.  The people then just decided to say that these great wonders were good guesses by the prophets and decided that if Jesus Christ was the Son of God that he could just come on over and show himself to them.  They decided that these believes that have been prophesied about for thousands of years now were wicked traditions and an art of evil.  It was said that the people imagined many more foolish and vain things in their hearts and spread rumors and contentions and Satan had a great hold upon their hearts upon all the face of the land.

This is the end of the Book of Helaman, and I do hope that you were able to learn a thing or two from your own studies this past week.  I pray that you are well and that the Spirit will reside with you and in your home.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.



Helaman 15

What does it mean to chasten?  It means to correct by means of punishment or suffering. Why does Heavenly Father chasten us?  In Helaman 15 verse 3 we learn the answer.  God chastens his people because he loves them.  Isn’t this the same reason we punish our own children?  If it isn’t, it should be.  Punish because of love, not because of any other reason.

I love how verse six reads.  This verse is referring to the Lamanites, who were previously despised by the Lord for their misdeeds and evil behaviors.  But here it says that the Lamanites are now “striving with unwearied diligence” to bring more people unto Christ.

Most of the rest of this chapter is a reminder to the Nephites that they need to repent, but what is speaking to my heart here are verses seven and eight.  Faith and repentance.  What can they do?

If one is steadfast in faith that can lead to the Lord which can lead to repentance.  Faith and repentance brings a change of heart and therefore one can choose, simply by faith, to change their path.

Helaman 15 closes with a prophesy through Samuel that the Nephites will be utterly destroyed because of their unbelief.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Helaman 14

Going backwards one tiny step here… when I started reading Helaman 13, I noticed that the year was approximately 6 BC.  And my original thoughts were excitement that it is almost time for Christ to be born and be alive on the earth.  I get a little anxious and excited when this part comes.  It’s a great part of the Book of Mormon and we will hear some more from Samuel the Lamanite here in Helaman 14 and look to see if there are and cause and effect statements within the chapter.

Verse 2 starts us by learning that Christ will come in five years… this is getting exciting!  Samuel then tells us that the people in this land shall know that He will come when there are great lights in heaven and that there will be a day and a night and a day as if it were one day… there would be no darkness.  Christ is the light! There will also be a new star that rises in the sky, this goes right along with the prophesy that we read in the New Testament. We learn more that Samuel has had communication with an angel who has told him what to say unto the people, and that is to “repent and prepare the way of the Lord.” (verse 9).

Samuel continues and recognizes that the Nephites are angry with him and want to destroy him because of his prophecy, but he clearly states that he will say what needs to be said and that they will not be able to deny that they have been told.  Do we not see this in today’s world with missionaries all over?  People are told of Christ, people choose not to listen…. it shall bring them to a final destination of their choosing.  As Samuel still stands atop the wall, the explains the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ.  The need for repentance is made clear and that if one chooses not to repent in this life, they choose their eternal damnation.

Next, Samuel tells us of the perilous times to come when Christ perishes from the earth.  We learn that there shall be a night for the space of three days and that there shall be terrible storms upon the planet and there will be great destruction.  Many graves shall be opened and saints shall appear unto many…. While I wouldn’t really want to be present for all the storms, would you just love to see the saints coming?

In closing of this post, I’m going to quote the last two verses, because I feel that they are truly a great summation of what needs doing, yesterday, today, and until the Second Coming of Christ.

“And now remember, remember, my brethren, that whosoever perisheth, perisheth unto himself; and whosoever doeth iniquity, doeth it unto himself; for behold, God hath given unto you a knowledge and he hath made you free.  He hath given unto you that ye mnight know good from evil, and he hath given unto you that ye might choose life or death; and ye can do good and be restored unto that which is good, or have that which is good restored unto you; or ye can do evil, and have that which is evil restored unto you.”  Your call.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Helaman 13

I’m working with a headache here, but need to work, so please forgive me in advance for any errors or train of thought issues in this post.

Focusing on cause and effect that we can find in the scriptures.  We will begin Helaman 13 with Samuel, a Lamanite prophet and will continue with his prophesies through Helaman 15.

What is amazing, right off the bat about Samuel?  He is obedient.  We learn that the Nephites are still being wicked and Samuel went to Zarahemla to preach and call the Nephites there unto repentance.  The Nephites tossed him out of the city not wanting to hear him.  As he left the city and was going home, a voice came unto him instructing him to return to Zarahemla and say the words that came into his heart.  The guards at the city gate wouldn’t let him in when he got there, so instead of being frustrated, he still obeyed Heavenly Father.  He climbed up on the city wall and began to say what was in his heart.

Samuel had much to say, but the short version of his story is this: the Nephites are a proud and stiff-necked people and if they do not lay their treasures up with God and the do not repent of their sins and change their ways, in 400 years time, the Nephite people shall be destroyed.

This whole chapter is essentially a cause… we learn what the Nephites are doing, the effect comes down the road, in 400 years.

Closing out the chapter, Samuel prays that the people will heart his words and that they will repent and be saved from the anger of God.

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Helaman 12

More cause and effect.  We can find it in every book throughout the Book of Mormon (at least I think so).

Verse 1: “And thus we can behold…”

Verse 2: “”and we may see…”

Verse 3: “And thus we see…”

Verse 26: “they that have done good shall have everlasting life; and they that have done evil shall have everlasting damnation. And thus it is.”

This chapter is a great comparison between Jesus Christ and the powers that Heavenly Father has given unto the prophet Nephi.  We read in Helaman 10:7 “Behold, I (God) give unto you (Nephi) power, that whatsoever ye shall seal on earth shall be sealed in heaven; and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven; and thus shall ye have power among this people.”  In Helaman 12:8-21 all manner of things that can and will happen at the command of Christ.  While Nephi is not the Christ, he was given Christ like qualities.  He prays for the people, he does the Father’s will and not his own and here we are reminded of how similar the two of them are.

These thoughts bring me to thoughts of Latter-day prophets and makes me go hmmmm.  I know that our modern day prophets are of God and I believe that they have a much more detailed relationship with Heavenly Father than I do.  I also know that I have heard at least one of them share that they have had dealings with our Heavenly Father that they are not permitted to share, much like what Joseph Smith encountered.  There are many things yet to be revealed unto the human race and they will be revealed in His time.

I am so thankful for the comparison today and grateful for the opportunity to study and understand more of Him.

I write this in His sacred name, Jesus Christ, Amen.


Helaman 11

Cause and effect: there is a lot of cause and effect here in Helaman 11.  I’m going to share my favorite to start off, even though it is toward the end of the chapter.

Verse 34 reads: “Now this great evil, which came unto the people because of their iniquity, did stir them up again in remembrance of the Lord their God.”

  • Cause: A great evil (Gadianton robbers) came into the land
  • Effect: Remembrance of God

Why is it that we read over and over again throughout the scriptures that people or civilizations fall because of their slowness to remember God?  Why is it that people forget Him and all that He has given us?   I know that I am guilty of this too.  I am by no means perfect and have had many instances and periods throughout my life where I am slow to remember Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ and all that has been done for me.  And I certainly paid the price.

My instructor for my religion course this week posted a note for our class and he asked this:

What is the difference between Nephi asking for the famine to strike the people (verse 3-5) and Nephi asking for the famine to come to an end (verse 10-16).  I have given my thoughts on this in the discussion board in my classroom, what are your thoughts?  I’d love to hear them, leave me a note…..

I leave this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Helaman 10

This week the focus of my scripture study will be cause and effect.  Someone did something and the effect of that action or behavior is _____.  We see this over and over throughout the scriptures and we will look more intensely at them this week. 

Helaman 10 takes us back into the presence of Nephi, the son of Helaman and he is in Zarahemla just after the chief judge was killed by his brother.  Many Nephites believed that Nephi is a prophet and others thought he is a god.  The people then became divided and went about their business leaving Nephi alone.  Nephi began to head home while pondering the things that the Lord had showed him.  His thoughts drifted to that of the wickedness of the Nephites and “a voice came unto him.” 

This voice, was the voice of Heavenly Father.  Verse 4-5 read thus: “Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people.  And thou has not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.  And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.” We can see that the purple text, or verse 4 is the cause and the green text or verse 5 is the effect.  Because Nephi followed the Lord’s commandments and only sought to do His will, he is given blessings forever because Heavenly Father knows that Nephi will not try to do anything that is different from His will.  I think this is pretty cool, what an amazing blessing. 

We continue to read that Heavenly Father says that whatever Nephi binds or sets loose on earth, it will also be bound or loosed in heaven.  Read up to verses 16-17 and find that next cause and effect.  Because the angels _______ Nephi was able to ________.  Once again, miracles do happen on this earth.  They still happen today, people simply decide that they are flukes or happenstance, when really, God has his hand in everything.

I leave this post with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.